Lead in the water is a big topic nowadays with the Flint water crisis. People are getting exposed to lead and this is a huge problem. The lead water crisis in Flint, Michigan is a serious public health danger. For the last few months, residents have only been able to use bottled water. How close we have come to water becoming the most sought after commodity. Kids are ingesting the lead in the water by just playing in the water and using it to blow bubbles.

Lead poisoning has existed for many centuries in human society. Namely it used to be called painter’s colic as all of the paints were lead based in the 1900’s. Even the Roman empire is said to have ended due to widespread lead exposure. Lead is toxic to every organ in the body and can easily be spotted on x-ray’s blood and urine tests.

Lead intoxication or poisoning is actually a misnomer. Even from what is considered “low levels” of lead intoxication will have side effects. Those affected by the Flint ordeal will not likely have to be hospitalized for some of the severe side effects lead can cause in the body. Rather the lead intoxication will show itself in school test scores and other measures of cognitive ability.

Lead serves no useful purpose in the human body, but its presence in the body can lead to toxic effects, regardless of exposure pathway. The medical effects of lead in the human body are numerous:

Development of the nervous system

Developmental Delay

Learning Disorders

Low IQ tests

Renal Failure

Reproductive Problems

Abdominal Pain

Confusion

Seizures

Electrolyte Abnormalities

Anemia

Stroke

Hypertension

Engineers from Virginia Tech University sampled every water source in Flint and found that many neighborhoods had very high lead levels. Doctors found that the blood lead levels in children had tripled compared to previous years.

Lead content in the bones of veterans was found to cause stroke and hypertension. No one knows about this study but it goes to show even the government has been worried about this for a long time.

The problem for the medical system is that no one gives guidance on how to get these metals out of the body. Physicians are left on their own when it comes to treating the lead until it becomes a bonafide crisis. When it comes to extremely high amount of lead in the blood, a technique called hemodialysis must be used to extract the lead from the blood. This can only be done in a hospital and usually the patient must stay in the hospital for observation.

Chelation therapy is another way to remove the lead from the body. Basically a chemical called a chelator is put into the body via an intravenous line and this chelator binds the heavy metals like lead and it is removed from the body via the kidneys and liver.

Detoxification can be controversial, and there’s consensus on how it should be done. no one right way to do it. Saunas are a great option, and can significantly expedite the detoxification process. Your skin is a major organ of elimination, but many people do not sweat on a regular basis. Sauna’s heat your tissues several centimeters deep, which enhance your natural metabolism and circulation.

Finally, don’t forget about optimizing your vital organs of detoxification such as the liver and kidney’s. Make sure that you are supplementing with the proper amounts of omega fatty acids.

Checking the level of lead and other heavy metals like aluminum is easy by getting a heavy metal test from your blood and urine. Keep in mind that lead still exists in many places in our environment, such as paint, gasoline, the ground, water, pipes, etc.

Fore more information, the CDC actually has a pretty good website on lead toxicity.

To your health

Doc Edwards